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STRATEGIC PLAN FOR E-COMMERCE BUSINESS

Apr 25, 2017 | 0 comments

Apr 25, 2017 | Essays | 0 comments

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STRATEGIC PLAN FOR E-COMMERCE BUSINESS

Introduction of Mobile E-Commerce Systems

(Initiative for Woolworth Supermarket)

 

Overview

Woolworth Supermarket is upgrading its business operations by implementing modern sale and marketing strategies by moving an extra-mile in providing additional range of products through Mobile E-Commerce Systems. The new Mobile E-commerce system will include Electronic Money Services and conducting online transactions alongside other business providers. Woolworth financial goal is to enhance 25% more sales by the ending of coming financial year of the business. The target markets of e-business systems are estimated to influence the majority populations that are connected to the internet or used mobile technologies in their daily lives.

Further, it includes market penetration pricing to attract the more customers in order to penetrate in the market. This strategy can better help the business to accomplish the business objectives of a sustainable market position. In relation to the promotion, the supermarket will focus on advertising, sales promotion, personal selling, direct marketing, and website. Website will also use to place the products of the business to attract the customers. The supermarket will expand its operational structures that comprises of management, sales persons, admin staff and customer service to include other companies services such as internet providers.  Woolworth supermarket have already made good projections about sales forecast, profit and loss statement and cash flows, that the auditors have predicted a smooth and profitable venture as depicted in financial statements.

 

Introduction and Background

Woolworth being one of the most successful business internationally, its management is considering to expand it services by considering an additional e-commerce business that will provide its customers and potential investors with important details need to evaluate the merits of the value suggestions, meeting modern world challenges and growth through increasing its sales volume and winning the biggest market share amongst its competitors.   Additionally, this strategy plan helps the management by ascertaining goals against which operations are measured. The supermarket currently specializes in the sale of consumer products such as electronic products and appliances, clothing’s, house-wares, furniture’s and beauty products. Through mobile e-commerce systems, the supermarket will, therefore, provide additional value to its products and services through faster, innovative, interactive, simple and cost saving initiative will enhance lives.

 

Business Concept

To capitalize on this explosive market opportunity, Woolworth will increase revenue from the following activities:

a.       Revenue generated from transaction charges involving different products

b.      Advertising through online applications of its E-commerce website

 

c.       Cutting down on daily staff and other operational costs

 

d.      Licensing and creation of services agents that are spread worldwide

 

e.       Attracting and establishing its presence to investors and customers spread all over the world through online presence.

 

f.        Expanding its business ventures into different locations

 

g.      Delivery of exceptional customer services

 

E-commerce mobile systems are undoubtedly becoming the next phase business ventures because of their always accessible and reliable at any-time or anywhere. Other advantages will include connecting the business to customer’s financial accounts and advantage that has been dominated by banking institutions (Karppinen-Takada, 1994). Furthermore, current retail systems increased shopping complexities, lacks customer-oriented ethos and freedom.

BUSINESS ANALYSIS

Industry

Woolworth Supermarket will be the best local and online shopping provider offering additional products and services through it proposed new system as markets require. Woolworth’s online and mobile transaction systems will be designed to create business, investment opportunities and networking opportunities.  The supermarket’s research the needs of different shoppers, and intended to provide result in an elegant, thoughtful solution (Rau, Plocher and Choong, 2013). Woolworth supermarket is currently located in Sydney, Australia and is privately owned. Its main competitors include Amazon and EBay who have already developed similar sales strategies.

Objectives

 

Woolworth Supermarket has definite objectives in order to fulfill its desire to participate and achieve an ever-growing market share of the exciting industry that it is entering.  What follows is a brief summary of the key objectives of Woolworth:

 

  1. Establish online product and services sales strategy.
  2. Utilize creative, first-class public relations, advertising, and marketing to raise public awareness of our products, our websites, and mobile payments subscription services.
  3. Develop management capabilities to ensure a strong foundation for participation in a rapidly growing company.
  4. Increase sales and revenue according to the goals projected in this plan for the financial years.

Strategy

1.1.      Market Research

The environment for supermarket businesses has become dynamic and turbulent. Without adequate preparation, it is difficult for such businesses to survive in different environments. The supermarket needs to collect information about customer preferences, and target market dynamics, competitor analysis, marketing strategy analysis. The information that is analyzed through market research is then used by the business to ensure effective decision making (Ananthan, Appannaiah and Reddy, 2010). Without market research, this information is difficult to obtain. Effective and efficient research and information management can provide the business with significant competitive advantage. The business management needs to understand the nature of the industry in a given location, the customer’s tastes and preferences, understanding what the competitor offers and what can be the strategic operations of the company (Burns and Bush, 2000). The opportunities and threats for the given business are discussed below.

 

Secondary Data

Secondary data involves data collected from distinct published sources like journals, texts, annual reports, newspaper, books etc.. There are several sources few latest and reliable as compared to others. However, a large amount of information – could be hard to manage. Additionally, trade journals (low or free cost) frequently provide overviews of costly research reports and also, the information was perhaps not gathered for everyone’s purpose.

 

Primary Data

Primary data involves data collected from techniques like surveys, interviews, questionnaires, etc. It helps in understanding the actual insights and perceptions of the individuals that might be difficult to analyze through any other sources. However, primary data is hard for the first-time entrepreneur unless he/she could afford to appoint an expert agency, it involves a good amount of cost, and accuracy of the sample is doubtful, chances of asking the wrong questions and possibility of bias in questions and interpretation.

Quantitative Methods

Quantitative data refers to data that holds numerical significance. It provides precise data and is constructive for studying huge numbers of individuals. However, it requires a large sample to be valid statistically and offers answers to based on fact questions but doesn’t answer “Why.” It needs quite perfect sampling so that research outcomes could be extrapolated to the entire section.

Qualitative Data

Qualitative data is subjective and is open to analysis. It involves words and one-liner than numbers. This data provides better understanding of the individual’s opinion and views than obtained through quantitative data. It offers an in-depth examination into attitudes and motivations. However, it doesn’t generate valid statistics and needs experienced interpretation.

Service Delivery Strategy

2.1.      Marketing Strategy

Marketing strategies will provide detail to Woolworth management on how the potential E-commerce business will attract, retain and educate consumers. Similarly, it takes into consideration the entire marketing environment and the impacts it imposes on the businesses, products and services offered.  The strategy also helps in the understanding of the marketing environment, accurately knowing the competitors and different consumers. A marketing strategy tackles the long term view of the products in the market, online and the resources in the business, or the required to allocate in order to promote the efforts to achieve the objectives (Blythe, 2006).

Advertising or attracting customers include information how the target market will be learnt regarding the product. Marketing plan identifies important targets and objectives that must successfully coordinate the various elements and their marketing mix’s variables (Baye and Nelson, 2001). Business will use various marketing strategies that will enable Woolworth supermarket easily to target the different classes of people, government agencies and design professionals within the target market. Furthermore, marketing plan will evaluate major challenges that Woolworth online consumers are likely to encounter such as multi-cultural and social believes laws and regulations, security, gender and race. Hence, there is a need for Woolworth supermarket to include four Ps that include; Pricing, products and services, placement and promotion and are depicted below.

Pricing

Success of Woolworth will consider strategic price management considering influences such as trade regulations, taxes, shipping and exchange rates. Pricing analysis aims at estimating strengths and weaknesses in the alternatives that support the transactions, functional requirements and activities in E-commerce marketing systems. The technique determines the options are providing the best approach to the option of practices in the terms of marketing purposes (Estelani and Maxwell, 2004). The comparison mostly lies on the cost since the cost maneuvers and controls the realizations of benefits in certain marketing practice by the business. Costs and benefits are diverse in the analysis. However, the financial costs are thoroughly represented in the analysis of the costs and benefits because of the relatively available market data.

Pricing Policy: 

The objectives of pricing are to get survival, current profit maximization, market share leadership and product quality leadership (Coutler and Armstrong, 2005). Woolworth supermarket determines prices on the basis of cost of operations or manufacturing and according to the bearing capacity of the market. Businesses apply or use market penetration pricing strategy. This strategy helps the company to accomplish the desired goal and market share by the end of twelve months. Pricing strategy allows a business to charge low price products and services in that are sold online in order to penetrate in the market. Strategy will also help to attract new customers to opening online applications longer hours. Further, prices will be charged on the basis on the basis psychographic and geographically according to the target market. In community areas, company will use Zone Pricing strategy and offering same prices to within zone customers but it will exceptional in case of some services. Many factors would be affected on pricing policy of the company like competition. In response to competition, market penetration strategy and Innovation in company’s offerings help the company to cope with competition (Lamb, 2004). Therefore, innovation and uniqueness in offerings, processes, customer dealings and other methods of company enables the business to remove the effect of various internal and external factors. Price is a good tool that enables the organization to compete in the market. Today many companies are getting competitive advantage on the basis offering comparative prices to their customers (Coutler and Armstrong, 2005).

Promotion

The management of Woolworth Supermarket believes very strongly in finding the most cost-effective ways to market and promote the offerings. The promotion strategy includes a combination of online marketing strategies where internet presence in conjunction with search engine methodology and good word-of-mouth advertising. The supermarket also trains key personnel and employees such that they represent a continual promotion opportunity for the company. Our single greatest promotional tool will be a good will and positive word-of-mouth advertising we generate among our individual users and our businesses. Our promotion strategy is based in serving our target users. If we always make sure that our target users are fulfilled and satisfied with their purchase, then every marketing or sales program we utilize will resonate with our ethic of service.

 

Placement

Marketing placement includes set of independent bodies involves in making a product available or use for customers (Varley, 2001). Business Placement through E-commerce systems will also involve all activities to make available the products from business unit to final customers. Business also finds good attractive place. Further, placement will also make in relation to competitors. Firstly the business will focus on direct marketing channels to provide a product to customers. Further, internet facilities will be used to place the products on the business’s website. Website will help the company to provide every type of information to customers and give them access to place orders. The supermarket will provide products according to their online orders. Website will contain the location of a supermarket, its inventory and products, and contact information. Today it is a good cost effective placement tool for many companies. It is easy for customers to place an order from their homes and get delivery. On the other hand, it will also beneficial and advanced method for the supermarket to make available the products or services to its potential customers. In an era of globalization, to cope with competition organization are focusing on placement and giving importance to it as good promotional activity. A good placement of product leads to good promotion of the product. Therefore, marketing staff will place the products in the prominent place of premises to better attract the customers.

Products/services and market target

Products and services offered in the target markets which helps the business to understand the preferences and tastes of different customers. Different products and services are offered by the business and are tailored according to the needs and demands of the customers (Lawley and Cohen, 2010). Today in the era of competition, it is necessary for every organization to better understand the linking and disking of its potential customers.

  1. Products Enhancement

Enhancing the existing products in the market mainly by modifying them is the best and the most commonly used method to tackle the competitor’s goods in the online markets. The modification of the products includes activities such as making the product look more attractive and appealing to customers and draws concern of everyone. Secondly, modifications also improve the quality of the item by adding some more and important features that make the consumer’s rush for the product. Lastly, the modification and enhancing of online products will involve the coloring of the product to increase its beauty to the consumers such that everyone gets attracted to it easily. The modification of the products exempts it in the competitions experienced from other sellers offering similar products on online shelves. During project development processes, the enhancement of the product makes it easy for an organization to realize more benefits leading to realize of the objectives in the organization.  The target customers for the modified product are the initial customers but the modification also includes the promotions on the features added to the commodity. Through that, the products face just a little competition online.

  1. Target market: Woolworth supermarket easily to target the different classes of people, government agencies and design professionals within the target market. Furthermore, marketing plan will evaluate major challenges that Woolworth online consumers are likely to encounter such as multi-cultural and social believes laws and regulations, security, gender and race.

Other Marketing Methods

  • Integrating with social networks. Some of the sites we envision integrating with are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, etc.  For users who happen to make a high score or some other notable event from the use of our mobile E-commerce system, we will make it possible for users to post it to Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Publishing. Online white papers, blogging, podcasting, press releases / social media releases, YouTube commercials with customer testimonials, product-review site submissions, such as CRAVE, CNET, etc.
  • Digital Marketing. Pay-per-click text ads, search engine optimization (SEO), sponsored tweets, banner ads, mobile app ads, sponsored tweets.
  • Public relations/word of mouth
  • Branding:
    1. Creating taglines and slogans
    2. Developing a branded logo
    3. Establishing ourselves as a company that offers a solution that is fun, intuitive, and easy to use.
  • Website copy:
    1. Creating headlines with a “hook”
    2. Creating the necessary copy that does the following:
      1. Personalizes the message
      2. Explains that Woolworth offers a solution
  • Provides clear and easy call to action through benefits of the site
  1. Creating the actual marketing message that will be compelling enough for the user to purchase the content – a movement needs to be created.
  • Blogging section for Woolworth Supermarket
    1. Creating a guideline of rules for blogging
    2. Providing instruction on promoting posts
  • SEO campaigns:
    1. Keyword development, to include URLs
    2. Optimizing gadget
    3. Broken links
    4. Content clusters
    5. Link building
  • E-mail marketing:
    1. Creation of a specific e-mail database that would be applicable to the target market – Not a generic database
    2. Creation of content and layout of e-mail
  • Social media marketing:
    1. Creation of campaigns using the following social sites:
      1. Facebook
      2. MySpace
  • Twitter
  1. LinkedIn
  2. YouTube
  1. Bookmarking
  2. Discuss creating connections relevant to Woolworth with all social networking sites
  • Publicity:
    1. Create a media list that would be applicable and the effectiveness tangibly measured
    2. Creation and submission of press releases
    3. Creation of list of news and tech outlets
    4. Create answers for possible negative receptions
    5. Publish white papers that discuss the Business

 

 

EVALUATION METHODS

1.      SWOT Analysis

 

SWOT Analysis of the business involves assessing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats involved in different business operations (Fine, 2009).

Analysis

 

Woolworth Supermarket has been changing its strategy since the changing competitive environment from other industries. Its history reflects that changes were made periodically to capture more markets which were done significantly. Moreover, the business culture is very diverse due to customers from different backgrounds shopping but the business culture has been introduced which has greatly helped the business to adjust itself to newer challenges and opportunities

Table 1: SWOT analysis of Woolworth Supermarket

   
 

STRENGTHS

Key strengths

ü  Skilled management team

ü  Motivated and Skilled operational staffs

ü  Technological advantages

ü  Ready market share

ü  Many financial sources

 

 

WEAKNESS

 

ü  Customer shyness from new services

ü  Inability to predict other technological changes

ü  Data and information security

ü  Inexperienced products suppliers

 

OPPORTUNITIES

 

ü  Expansion of market worldwide

ü  Grabbing market share through customer experience services.

ü  Possible investments in other locations.

 

THREATS

 

ü  Change in customers interests.

ü  Change in external environmental factors

ü  Possible customer dissatisfaction and possibility of losing market share

 

 

B. Business Costs and Benefits Analysis

The cost and the benefits analysis are a systematic approach that aims at estimating strengths and weaknesses in the alternatives that support the transactions, functional requirements and all activities of the supermarket. The technique will determines the options providing the best approach to the adoption of practices in the terms of marketing purposes. The comparison lies on the cost since the cost maneuvers and controls the realizations of benefits in certain marketing practice by the business. Costs and benefits are diverse in the analysis where financial projects costs are thoroughly represented in the analysis of the costs and benefits because of the relatively available online market share. The benefits of the marketing this project incorporate the costs from the savings collected from the marketing of online products and services. From a different perspective, the costs involve all the expenses involved right from initial designing of project to the use of new system in the marketing of the products whereas the benefits are what the sold products give in return as the profits (Karppinen-Takada, 1994).. The business will realize more benefits that must exceed the costs of development in order to enhance the development of the business by the achievement of the objectives. Mobile e-commerce system enhances the calculation of the net cost in accordance to the benefits associated with the total sales of different services through it platform. However, this comparison sets the business on different options to the actions to take in order to make further objectives.

A comparison on the costs and the benefits in financial transaction in the accounts department of the supermarket will make the evaluation of the impact of the total benefits in a quantifiable and monetized manner. The further research explains that evaluation takes a sum of the total costs of the project and compares it against the total benefits realized when being run. The comparison of different financial figures such as costs and the benefits aims at making the business aware of the factors to consider that influence the strategic online marketing. The decisions made basing on the evaluation of business performance will promote the achievement of the financial objectives. Accordingly, costs and the benefits that occur in the future will be less weighted in the cost-benefit analysis as compared to the current business statuses (Paley, 2005).

 

Conclusions and Recommendations

 

Woolworths Supermarket has projected good sales forecast, profit and cash inflow once the new product is operational. Various advertising, marketing, operational and financial strategies will help the supermarket accomplish objectives. It is proposed that till the end of first year business will complete entire projections and then starts to run smoothly. The business’s website is a good tool to attract and deal customers and investors. All these strategies will help the business to compete with other players and get long term sustainability. The projected financial advantages of the first quarters of the financial year will prove financial strengths of the project and a good indicator for consumer’s satisfaction. Great efforts and enthusiasm of motivated staff are required to achieve these purposes. Further, the supermarket has made various actions about legal, information security, licensing and other vital requirements for launching of new the mobile e-commerce system product and services.

Once the supermarket reaches an adequate profitability level and enhances a cash reserve, it has a plan to invest portion of profit on R & D of existing products and operational improvements, other new products, and expand sales and marketing efforts on extensive level. Further, after one year some percentage of profit will also spend on low risk financial instruments to strengthen the financial system of supermarket. Further, after positive and profitable indications from the new product, the business will be financed on employee bonuses, financial instruments and charitable giving activities and reward on different customer’s purchases that are conducted online. Further, after one year 10% profits should be used to provide bonuses to employees. More efforts and budget will be used after one year for products improvements amongst other activities. Therefore, supermarket should strengthen its marketing and competitive strategies and introduce more products to customers; it would help the business to attain sustainable local and online market position. Moreover, in the era of globalization sophisticated technology has more value to better cope with competition. In relation to technology Woolworths Supermarket will introduce more technological products meant to enhance customer’s choices amongst other services. This strategy will also help the supermarket to achieve international ISO standard as a stable, compliance and reliable business.

 

References List

Ananthan, B., Appannaiah, H. and Reddy, P. (2010). Business management. 1st ed. Mumbai [India]: Himalaya Pub. House.

Burns. A. and Bush. R. (2000) Marketing research. 1st ed Upper Saddle River, N. J.: Prentice Hall.

Blythe, J. (2006). Marketing. 1st ed. London: SAGE Publications.

Engelking, J. (2008). Action-oriented principals. 1st ed. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

 

Khalīl, J. (2006). Strategy and global management. 1st ed. New Delhi, India: Pentagon Press.

Karppinen-Takada, M. (1994). Foreign market penetration patterns and Internationalization. 1st ed. Helsinki: Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration, Centre for International Business Research.

Lawley, B. (2007). Expert product management. 1st ed. Cupertino, CA: HappyAbout.info.

Lawley, B. and Cohen, G. (2010). 42 rules of product management. 1st ed. Cupertino, CA: Super Star Press.

Lamb, C. (2004). Marketing. 1st ed. Cape Town, S.A.: Oxford University Press.

 

Fine, L. (2009). The SWOT analysis. 1st ed. [S.l.]: Kick It.

Paley, N. (2005). The manager’s guide to competitive marketing strategies. 1st ed. London: Thorogood.

Rau, P., Plocher, T. and Choong, Y. (2013). Cross-cultural design for IT products and services. 1st ed. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Thorpe, E. (2003). Mid-level marketing managers and marketing stratergy implementation effectiveness. 1st ed. University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

 

 

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